Norfolk and Suffolk students to get a taste of army life

Dawn runs, assault courses and boot polishing will all be part of the drill for students who will spend part of their Easter break training with the army.

Eleven teenagers from colleges around Norfolk and Suffolk will spend four days with troops at Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley, the home of the Light Dragoons, from April 18.

All of the students are aged between 16 and 19 and are being supported in their varied college courses by the Army Further Education Bursary Scheme (FEBS).

Launched in 2008, FEBS is open to qualifying students aged between 16 and 32 who are interested in a military career. The training includes field-craft skills and culminates in a night-time exercise.

Major Mike Robinson, army careers adviser for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: 'The first few weeks in the army can be a shock, so this exercise is designed to give young people a flavour of what real soldiering is all about in those early weeks of army military training. Four of the bursars will join the army this year after their studies.

'It is amazing to see how quickly the students bond and start supporting each other and working together.' The eleven students taking part are from Norwich City College, Great Yarmouth College, East Norfolk Sixth Form and Fakenham College, Suffolk New College and Lowestoft College. Among them will be Norwich City College student Jack Himpleman, who is preparing for an expedition to the Himalayas with the support of the army in the summer. The 17-year-old from Poringland plans to join the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and to train as an aviation technician. Students who qualify for the bursary receive �1,000 at the end of each academic year while at college and a further �1,000 on completion of the first stage of army training, as well as a support pack of training kit and information.

Major Robinson said that the bursary could ease the financial burden faced by many students by providing a guaranteed job offer at the end of their studies and the work experience to prepare them for the position.

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Students wishing to learn more about the scheme should contact their local Army Careers Office or visit

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